Green Lentil Soup Recipe
Lentil soup should be creamy, filling and also healthy and our recipe for green lentil soup will definitely make one that checks all these boxes. Each bite of this soup is loaded with layers of delicious flavor and is so good, you will never look for another lentil soup recipe ever again!
Creamy Lentil Soup
When you think of lentil soup, you likely think of a thick, creamy broth that is not only healthy but incredibly delicious. Lentil soup may even remind you of a specific time of year. Winter, for example is when lentil soup starts to pop up on menus everywhere! That is because it is warm, hearty and can make any winter day better.
Our recipe for green lentil soup is one of the best around and will easily top other recipes you may find. So don’t search any longer, just take out a big pot and start making this delicious soup recipe. You will be glad you did with just one bite!
How to Make Green Lentil Soup
Any great soup will take a little bit of time to make. While this lentil soup recipe isn’t too complex or difficult, it does take a few minutes to put together so be prepared to invest a little bit of time. However, you will get a delicious lentil soup as the end result! Here is what you need to do to make this soup:
- Pour hot water over the dry green lentils and let sit for 15 minutes, allowing the lentils to soften.
- Add the vegetables (onion, garlic, celery, carrot etc) to a large soup pot along with the olive oil. Cook the veggies until they are all nice and soft (about 15 minutes).
- Add the ham, tomato paste and soft lentils to the sauteed veggies and then add in the chicken stock. Stir for a few minutes to combine.
- Cook the recipe over low heat and let simmer for an hour.
- Once the green lentils are soft, add the vinegar, stir and serve! You can also add a touch more ground black pepper or salt at this point if needed.
Yes, this soup does take a little bit of prep time and a decent amount of cook time but it is necessary to allow the lentils to soften and the soup to develop that rich flavor you love. Once you make this recipe, you will see how easy lentil soup really is! And besides, isn’t it fun to spend a few minutes in the kitchen, especially on a cold winter day.
Alternative Cooking Methods
While this recipe cooks to pure perfection when you follow our directions, giving it a good hour to cook. However, there are other options that may be even easier. Our favorite alternative cooking method: the slow cooker.
To make this green lentil soup using a slow cooker, you just need to place all of the ingredients into your crockpot. Add an extra two cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth to the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to low heat and cover. Let the soup cook for 8 hours, stir and enjoy. It is so easy and saves a lot of time in the kitchen! So choose whichever cooking method you prefer- you will get a great soup no matter what.
Health Benefits of Lentils
You may already think that lentils are healthy but you may not know how nutritionally beneficial they are. Lentils are low in calories and also very high in plant-based proteins. Lentils have lots of polyphenols which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. They are rich in iron, folate and many other vitamins and minerals.
While all lentils have about the same nutritional value, green lentils are one of the healthiest options. They also have a nice black pepper taste that other lentils lack. They may be slightly more expensive but just half a cup of dried lentils will provide 24 grams of protein- that is a lot for a small amount of lentils!
Here are a few questions that we get asked often. Hopefully, our answers will help clarify a thing or two for you! If you have any other specific questions, send them right to our email address and we will try to answer as best as we can!
Is lentil soup healthy?
Lentil soup is definitely healthy. In the section above, we went into more detail about the health benefits of lentils in particular, however, lentil soup as a whole is quite healthy. There are lots of vegetables and spices that helps add to the nutritional value of this soup. However, you can also make smart ingredient choices to ensure that your soup is even healthier. Choose lean, low sodium pieces of ham or kielbasa. You should also look for low fat, low sodium broth to use as the liquid in this recipe.
How do you thicken lentil soup?
The broth of lentil soup will be quite thick naturally thanks to the starchy green lentils. Lentil soup is much thicker than a bowl of chicken soup or beef broth soup. However, if you want to make your lentil soup even thicker, puree the entire soup after it has cooked. You can use a handheld immersion blender or stand blender to puree the lentil soup until smooth. Make sure there are no large pieces of onion, garlic cloves or lentils when you puree. Doing this will make a very creamy, thick soup and an entirely new version of our lentil soup recipe!
Is lentil soup vegetarian?
While there are many vegetarian soup recipes out there, our recipe for lentil soup is not vegetarian as written, however, with a few changes, it definitely can be! Rather than using chicken broth or chicken stock, opt for vegetable broth. Skip adding the ham or kielbasa completely. Tada! A perfect vegetarian lentil soup recipe. Since ham and kielbasa are often quite salty and have a distinct taste, you may want to adjust the seasonings as well when making this lentil soup recipe vegetarian. Add some extra garlic cloves, extra salt and pepper, some additional onion and even a pinch of smoked paprika will liven up the soup. Taste the soup and change the ingredients depending on your flavor preferences.
Can you freeze lentil soup?
You can definitely freeze this recipe after you have fully made it. Soups that are broth-based, like this recipe, freeze quite well. All the ingredients in the recipe are also freezer friendly, making for a completely perfect make-ahead soup. Divide the prepared lentil soup into airtight, freezer friendly containers, cover and freeze for up to three months. When you are ready to enjoy the soup, take it out of the freezer and heat for a few minutes in the microwave until thawed and hot. You can have perfect lentil soup anytime you’d like, with no extra cooking time! Make extra soup to ensure you have some of this recipe to freeze for later.
We hope that you enjoyed this delicious lentil soup recipe as much as we do. Hopefully, it helped you warm up on a cold winters day while also filling you with healthy goodness! If you want to discover even more tasty recipes, send us your email address and we will send you all kinds of new and exciting recipes.
You can also take a few minutes to browse or search for a recipe on our site right now. Take a look at what we have and you will be pulling out ingredients and cooking a great dish soon. Enjoy!Print
Favorite Lentil Soup
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
- Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
- 3/4 lb green lentils
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cups diced onions
- 2 cups chopped leaks
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 1 tbs kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 cups diced celery
- 3 cups diced carrots
- 3 quarts chicken stock
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 lb ham or kielbasa (optional) cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar (or red wine)
- Place lentils in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain.
- In a big pot, heal olive oil and saute onions, celery, carrots, leeks, garlic, thyme, cumin, salt, and pepper until vegetables are soft. About 15 minutes.
- Add cooked meat, if using.
- Add tomato paste, lentils and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the lentils are soft and cooked through.
- Turn off heal, stir in red wine vinegar.
- While you can definitely add all the ingredients to the large pot at once to saute, we like to add the onion first, giving them a little extra time to brown and cook. Browning the onion will give the lentil soup another layer of flavor as the caramelized taste of the onion shines through even at the end of the cooking process!
- Salt and pepper, smoked paprika, extra cumin and even a teaspoon of dried turmeric can all help this soup taste unique and perfect for you. Taste the soup at the end of the cooking process and adjust the seasonings until it tastes exactly as you’d like. When you decide change the soup, add extra ingredients or take some out, be sure to go slowly, making small changes, tasting the soup again and then deciding on your next adjustments.
- This lentil soup is quite hearty and can be a complete meal on it’s own but if you are looking for something to serve alongside the soup, try taking out your homemade bread maker and whipping up a perfect loaf of bread to serve with the soup. A simple chopped salad with just a few ingredients is also a good pairing. Keep the side dishes simple as you don’t need to add much more flavor than is already found in this recipe!
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